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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Homeschooling

just-start

So, start before you are ready!

If not now, then when? If not you, then who? Because it’s more about progress than perfectionism. Perfectionism is just a nicer word for… well, you’ll see…

This video is about an Ah-ha! moment I had this weekend. Sometimes we just have to start before we are ready, or we will never do the thing that we know we should be doing. You don’t have to wait until you are thinner, prettier, or more knowledgeable. Just start. Remember, we are aiming for progress, not perfection!

What do you need to start today?

  • Do you have a book that you need to begin writing?
  • A room full of memories that you need to clean out?
  • An exercise program to start?
  • A morning routine to set into motion?
  • A letter to write?
  • Forgiveness to request?
  • A business to start?
  • A new habit to form?

Comment below and tell me what’s holding you back. I wasn’t going to start my video series until I had lost a few pounds (like 30!). But I was encouraged to just start and walk into my fear. Maybe it will be a little less scary next time. 🙂

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relationships matter - surprising

A week ago, Tuesday, I got the phone call no one wants to receive…

“Hello Terri, I’m calling to inform you that your mother collapsed. She is in a coma in the Cardiac ICU and her blood sugar is over 1000 (normal blood sugar is under 100). She’s not breathing on her own. Terri, your mom is on life support.”

Have you ever received a call like that? I’m sure you have. This is the kind of announcement that causes your knees to buckle and your head to swim. Suddenly, your day – once so planned out and organized – becomes a fog, a jumble of facts, phone calls, relatives, and swirling emotions.

And so, just like that, my day – correction, my whole week – became derailed.

What can you do when you become derailed?

Let’s face it, life is messy. It doesn’t always fit into our nice neat boxes like we want it to. As emotional beings, we can ride the pendulum from joy to despair and then back again, all within a single week, a day, or even an hour.

Here are 3 tips for getting through a rough day:

1. Connect with the ones who mean the most to you. Group hug your family, cuddle on the couch with your children, cry on your husband’s shoulder, laugh with your siblings, and listen to the ones who are hurting. Be an ear for those that need to process; be a shoulder for those that need to cry. Continue reading I was completely derailed…

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It’s time to launch that book!

Last week, I delved into the initial aspects of launching a book, from writing to editing to project management. This week, we’ll fall headlong into the second half of the book launching process – finalizing, printing, pre-selling, and publishing (AKA launch day!).

I briefly mentioned a couple fantastic tools last week in Part I of The Anatomy of a Book Launch – Scrivener and Mind-Meister. I want to reiterate how much these tools have served me during my book-writing process. In essence, they keep me organized. And without organization, it is nearly impossible to actually finish your book. So, stay organized by using great tools. They will help you finish your project.

Also critical to finishing your book project is outsourcing. Do not try to do it all! I have outsourced some of my research, photography, editing, layout, activities, recipes, book lists, and more. Writing a book is a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) all by itself, so let others do the tasks they can. You can outsource pretty much everything except the actual writing (well, you can hire a ghost writer, so that can be outsourced too, if you really want to).

I tried something very non-traditional when I was writing my last book – A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World – in 2013 and it was a beautiful experience, so I just subjected myself to the process again for my current book – A Child’s Geography: Explore Medieval Kingdoms. I crowd-sourced the editing. Now, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t hire a professional editor for the final pass-through, but it does mean that I opened up my book manuscript to 300 pairs of eyes to comment on and critique.

Here is what I did: Continue reading The Anatomy of a Book Launch, Part II

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homeschooling and home business

Discover the Magic of Mapping out Your Week

Homeschooling is a growing movement. More and more parents are choosing to teach their kids at home for reasons that include individualized instruction, efficient use of time, the abundance of excellent curricula available, and the quality time they get to spend with their kids.

But for many families, to homeschool means to give up one parent’s income, which can become a financial hardship. What many families don’t realize, though, is that homeschooling does not preclude earning a second income.

Everyone is allocated the same 168 hours per week. The important idea to consider is how we use these hours. Let’s break it down.

Homeschooling takes less time than traditional schooling, because school time is more focused and intentional. You don’t need to use any of your time for assemblies, roll call, bathroom breaks, lining up, etc. Most families can be finished with their studies before noon, if they start around 8:30 or 9am. So, if it takes your children 3-4 hours per day to finish all their subjects, then you can allot 15-20 hours to homeschooling each week.

If you sleep for 56 hours (8 hours per night) and reserve 60 hours to “other” activities (such as errands, cleaning, meal prep and recreation), you still have 32+ hours left that you can devote to creating a second income. I spend about 20 hours per week running our two businesses from home (4.5 hours on 4 afternoons a week).

So, the time is there, if we use it wisely. But that is certainly not the only obstacle to working from home. As homeschooling moms, we are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7. All working parents need some type of child care, even those who work from home. However, public school parents utilize the school system, which provides built-in childcare. Homeschooling parents who wish to focus on work or building a business just need to get creative. That’s not a problem since creativity is our specialty!

supervision 24/7

We are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7.

Here are some ways that creative homeschooling moms have carved out some uninterrupted work time: Continue reading Homeschooling & Home Business: A Match Made in Heaven

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And why you’ll love these creative resources too!

I love being creative, but I am not an artist, nor am I very techie. I am just an average Jane who likes the things I promote or have my name on look fantastic. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

If you are a teacher, leader or business woman who likes her materials to look smashing, then bookmark this site and refer back to it often, whenever you need to get creative.

Here are my Top 5 Creative Resources:

  1. Canva. Canva is simple, comprehensive and makes me look good. I love their design tutorials and their easy-to-navigate design interface. I use Canva mostly for graphics that we display on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Check it out and sign up for their tutorial email series. You’ll feel like a design pro before you know it.
  2. Creative Market. I am new to this site, but I LOVE it! I am a font junkie and a photography nerd, so the resources that are available on this site are right up my alley. The best part is that Creative Market gives away 5-6 freebies each and every week, which you can sync directly to your Dropbox. Get on their email list! But I have been known to purchase fonts, photo effects, and photoshop images that make design a snap. I use these on my blog, website, magazine and my new book coming out.
  3. GraphicStock. This stock photo site gives away a free image every week, but I also signed up for an annual subscription. For $99, I can download an enormous number of photos that I use in our magazine and in our newest book – Explore Medieval Kingdoms.
  4. Photoshop. I love Photoshop and have been using it for years. I still do not consider myself an expert (I felt like a newbie forever), but I have finally achieved a moderate level of expertise. I used to consider this program priced out of the range that most people wanted to afford; however, you can now subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud that gives you access to Lightroom, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Muse and more. When you sign up for the student license, so that you can teach your kids all these awesome software programs, you can save up to 60% on the monthly subscription price.
  5. Udemy. This site is wonderful. At Udemy, you can learn any skill you want and if you’re timing is right, you can get in on some killer discounts and deals. I have learned Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photography, Graphic Design, Youtube, XCode, and more.
  6. Bonus #6 – Upwork. I wanted to add one more here because it deserves an honorable mention. Over the years, I have learned to outsource quite a few things that I am not very good at. As I said earlier, I am neither a designer nor a technician and I usually know when a project is just too over my head. This is when I head to Upwork and outsource the job. I have found amazing graphic designers, writers, coders, and other experts here that I can pay just to do a single job, or hire regularly for on-going work. I adore the people that I have found here that I get to work with every day.

So, there you have it – my top 5 (okay 6!) creative resources. Have fun getting creative! And remember to bookmark this site so that you can come back here and get your creative juices flowing once again.

This creative sunset comes from Graphic Stock

Question: What is your favorite creative resource?

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How can balance be achieved through scheduling?

Being a homeschool mompreneur can get a little wacky, throwing our families into a tailspin, if we are not careful. Balance is important for everyone, but it seems to be particularly critical for moms.

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

I have not always been very good at maintaining balance in my life. I have gone through times over the years when I couldn’t stop working on my business and times when I didn’t want to work at all; I have endured a messy house for days on end and then went on a cleaning and decluttering rampage to rid my family of the mess once and for all; I have eaten perfectly and exercised faithfully month after month only to fall victim to a deadly combination of delicious home baked goodies and frightful weather that shook my resolve and dashed my good habits.

Through the passage of years and experience, I am learning balance. I am learning that planning and mindfulness are the keys to balance in my life. I would like to bet that this is true for you too. When I make an appointment with myself, I am likely to keep it. If I make something healthy, I am likely to eat it. If I have an audiobook or podcast on my phone, I am likely to take a walk to listen to it. If I schedule a day-off and plan something with my family, I am likely to show up. Continue reading Scheduling for Better Balance

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Are you ready to achieve what really matters in 2016?

I love this time of year. The busyness of Christmas is over, the guests have gone home, we are still on winter break and snow often drifts down from the sky. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I also love the weeks that follow. I especially like this time because it is a time of reflection and goal setting. I get excited about what the new year will bring and I want to do what I can to achieve what matters and make it my best year yet.

How about you? Are you looking forward to, or dreading, this upcoming year? My hope and prayer for you is that you are getting excited as you look ahead to what 2016 holds in store for you.

I would love to share with you my 4 best strategies for achieving what matters in this brand new year. Continue reading 4 Ways to Achieve What Matters in 2016

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Do these results surprise you?

Last week, I asked my readers to take a survey about the direction of my blog. Hundreds of you were super helpful by filling out the 3 minute survey questionnaire here.

The answers were very revealing of this community. But in a good way!

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Most of my readers are married (but certainly not all) and are between the ages of 35 and 55. However, we have a good representation of youth and sage among us too.

51% of you have 2 or 3 children, 36% have more than that and 13% have fewer.

While 25% of you have been homeschooling for 3 years or less, 50% have been homeschooling for 8 years or more. That leaves 25% in the middle – homeschooling for 4-7 years. Wow, you all are amazing and dedicated teachers for your kids. Kudos to you! Good job!

Money is super tight for a small percentage of you; moderately tight for most and comfortable for some. It’s a classic bell curve. But if you had more money in the budget, these are the things you would do with it:

Continue reading Here are the Survey Results

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Welcome to the 3rd video in the series… 3 Keys to Cracking the History Code. My name is Terri Johnson and I am your host today as we continue to explore this fun topic.

DOWNLOAD Sacagawea Here! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

But first, let’s do a brief recap…

It’s difficult for a history curriculum to cover every event and angle of History. History is a multi-faceted subject and most curricula find it more manageable to focus on just one of the facets – the WHAT of history.

But history is a story. And a story has several key elements, which are:

Characters, Plot, Setting and Context

In other words, the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN

Your history program should have the WHAT covered, which is the plot, the sequence of events. That is what it is designed to do. But what about the other 3 elements?

Continue reading Context Sets the Stage

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Welcome to the second video in the series…

3 Keys to Cracking the History Code

My name is Terri Johnson and I am your host for all 3 videos.

Download the Map Trek Sampler Here! You’ll get 32 maps you can start using right away.

Last week, we discussed the 3 keys to crafting a complete history program that is enjoyable, understandable, and easy, and then I revealed the first one. Let’s do a brief recap…

Most history curricula fall short in painting a complete history picture, but through no fault of their own. History is a multi-faceted subject and most curricula focus on just one of the facets – the WHAT of history.

But history is a story. And a story has several key elements. These are:

Characters – WHO
Plot – WHAT
Setting – WHERE
Context – WHEN

Your history program should have the WHAT covered. That is what it is designed to do. But what about the other 3 elements?

Continue reading Every Story Needs a Setting

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